Apple Car: An operating system licensed to other auto-makers?

“There’s a Bloomberg story going round that claims Apple’s hired Dan Dodge, the founder and former chief executive officer of QNX Software Systems,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “He’s to join the Apple Car team that’s now led by Bob Mansfield.”

“The claim is that Apple is no longer solely focused on building its own autonomous vehicle, but also on developing an operating system that could be licensed to other auto-makers,” Evans writes. “That makes sense.”

“It would be very hard for Apple to replace every car in the world with an Apple Car if it doesn’t work in partnerships with others – licensing the OS may help, as the Android thing proved,” Evans writes. “It’s arguable that licensing will help the company build an unassailable lead in the market. It all hinges on how many Apple Cars the company wants to sell.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote yesterday, there’s no shift here, Apple’s simply smartly covering all their bases, bumper-to-bumper.

Apple hires founder of QNX with Apple Car project increasing focus on self-driving software – July 28, 2016
Apple taps Bob Mansfield to oversee Apple Car project – July 25, 2016
Apple veteran Steve Zadesky overseeing electric-car project leaving company – January 22, 2016
Apple is building their largest startup ever – October 1, 2015
Why it’s time for an Apple Car – October 1, 2015
The deeper reason for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Volkswagen emissions scandal spotlights need for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Morgan Stanley: Apple Car, if true, ‘one of the most important moments in transportation’ – September 22, 2015
Former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz: Apple Car ‘is going to be a gigantic money pit’ – September 22, 2015
Apple speeds up electric-car efforts, aims for 2019 ‘ship date’ – September 21, 2015
Apple meets California DMV officials to discuss ‘autonomous vehicle’ – September 18, 2015
Documents confirm Apple is building self-driving car, Project Titan further along than many suspect – August 14, 2015
Apple Car development proceeds apace – July 27, 2015
Apple hires veteran Fiat Chrysler auto industry executive – July 20, 2015
What’s up with Carl Icahn’s sudden obsession with the Apple Car? – May 18, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ could reshape the auto world – February 22, 2015
Bob Mansfield’s new role at Apple is to focus on chips – August 3, 2013
Is Apple flying the pirate flag again? Mansfield move means something special is in works – August 1, 2013
Gruber: Nothing to read between the lines, Bob Mansfield really is working on ‘special projects’ for Apple – July 29, 2013
Apple’s Bob Mansfield to focus on ‘special projects’ – July 29, 2013
Apple removes SVP Bob Mansfield from executive team; will remain at Apple reporting to Tim Cook – July 28, 2013
Un-retired: Why Bob Mansfield is back at Apple in a big way – November 1, 2012
Tim Cook takes full control of Apple: John Browett and Scott Forstall out; Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi get expanded responsibilities – October 29, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook expands executive team, Senior VP Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield will not retire – August 27, 2012
Brain drain? Apple’s Bob Mansfield is 2nd key exec to leave since Steve Jobs died – June 29, 2012
Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, to retire; Dan Riccio to take over – June 28, 2012


  1. I knew it. There is no Apple Car. Apple is merely interested in supplying the software. Wonder if Apple will provide Kia with Apple’s AutoOS. Sorry, fanboys, no Apple car with a shiny Apple logo.

      1. Seriously, can you be that stupid? One has to know the hardware to design the software. My gawd, your lack of intelligence is astounding. Please, admit your error, fanboy. The Apple Car is a myth, wrapped in a fantasy, hidden in a lie, supported by ignorance.

        1. Being stupid hasn’t shut you up. You’re accusing others of lacking intelligence is what we all know here as the quality you least possess. You are Mr. Error or “Err” for short. As dumb, crass and ignorant as they come. With the trolling agenda to look as imbecilic as possible. Congrats, you’re suck-seeding!

  2. The last time Apple licensed their OS, it almost killed them. They don’t do licensing.

    This autonomous carOS will be to the Apple Car what the GUI was to the Mac, what the click wheel was to the iPod and what multi-touch is to the iPhone / iPad.

  3. I don’t this means no apple car – they could just use other people’s vehicles as mules if autoOS is their only play – the expertise of most of the big auto hires shows their interest way beyond just an OS!

  4. This is even dumber. Now they will be liable for many models of automobiles from different manufacturers. Apple has a very big coffer full of cash. Ambulance chasers love companies with lots of money.

  5. Looking at what existing car manufacturers have said so far, very few of them appear to be interested in getting into bed with Apple ( or Google ). They think that they can do better themselves because they’re the proven experts when it comes to automotive technology.

    While I can se advantages in offering Car OS to other manufacturers, I very much doubt that there would be many takers.

    1. Aaaaaw, that’s so sad. You think no auto manufacturers will want AutoOS in their vehicles. But, but, but everyone expects Apple Car to be a reality. How can you think such things? Apple has to develop Apple Car with slumping iPhone sales, slumping Mac sales, and being burdened with vintage technology.

  6. Why create an OS from scratch when a Blackberry M&A would save tremendous time- Apple is already a strategic partner with BB…
    In the same week Tesla fires their autonomous maker and AAPL switches plans to autonomous software- on top of that Tesla’s says their autonomous trucks will be ready next year, and Dodge (QNX creator) now works for AAPL hmmmmm

  7. The DUH point here is that OF COURSE Apple is advancing CarPlay. That it would evolve into autonomous driving software is only logical. That it would be customized for a variety of licensing car companies is only logical. This all fits within Apple’s realm of expertise. The mechanics of a, presumably, electric car are NOT. I could see Apple licensing CarPlay to Tesla.

    I can also see Apple designing the GUI gear to accompany all these cars as well. That’s clearly within their hardware-married-to-software expertise.

    1. Apple’s experience I feel is in integrating/optimizing the OS to fit a VERY limited range of hardware that they also control. I don’t see them supporting the wide range that exists in cars today or the future unless the automotive industry decides to standardize on a limited set of onboard computing systems.

  8. “It would be very hard for Apple to replace every car in the world.”

    This a about a dumb a statement as I can think of… It is so stupid it’s difficult to figure out where to start, so I’ll start here.

    Apple would like to consume up to 20% market share over time, and own 80% of the margin of the market. If Apple can do that, they will be the most powerful car company in the world – ever.

    Others can go buy their Yugo’s at no margin. Apple has zero interest in volume sales for loss-leader sake.

    So dumb, so dumb. And no, Apple is not likely building a car OS to license to it’s competition. Just because they hired Dan Dodge does not equal license. It means Dan will get Titans OS up to speed. Nothing more.

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